By Asif Mahmood
When I came to Islamabad from the villages in the early nineties, I used to enjoy participating in seminars and conferences as it was an ultimate pleasure for me at that time .
After participating in hundreds of seminars as a listener and speaker, I do hereby put forth the results of my thoughts at your service.
First of all, let’s make it clear that these conferences and seminars with very loaded topics do not need to be taken seriously at all. What happens is that most of these are projects funded by foreign organizations in which it is decided that so many seminars are to be held in so many months.
Therefore, the organizers rush towards this exercise just for their financial interests.
The other thing to understand is that this is not an intellectual exercise, it is a matter of livelihood of the organizers and the innocent participants are often busy working hard. The organizers get the dollars for the successful project, but the hardworking gentlemen continue to pour knowledge and grace for free.
In these conferences and seminars, columnists are not invited because of their knowledge and grace, but behind it is the desire to have a column written by the gentlemen The column is then arranged in the file and presented in the service of the donors. Look, we have not wasted your dollars, but our conferences and seminars have affected the ideological contours of Pakistan .This is our “social impact”. Keeping in view the social impact we are having on the society , kindly do more and send us more dollars.
The fourth point relates to the participants. Most of the participants in these seminars and conferences are professionals and these associations work on the principle of mutual benefit. These are the same two and a half dozen ladies and gentlemen who attend each other’s seminars on the principle of equity.
Fifth, the organizers of these programs are not free to choose the topic, nor to set the outcome of the conversation. This whole session is under one agenda.
The topic is also determined by the donors and the outcome of the discussion is also determined from there.
The other thing to understand is that this is not an intellectual exercise, it is a matter of livelihood of the organizers and the innocent participants are often busy working hard